Ton-up Kohli powers RCB to 213/4 against KKR

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Kolkata, April 19 (IANS) Virat Kohli notched up his fifth century in the Indian Premier League while Moeen Ali too struck a belligerent fifty to help Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) post a mammoth 213/4 in 20 overs against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens here on Friday.

Put into bat first in a must-win tie, Kohli took 58 balls to bring up his first ton of the season with the help of nine fours and four sixes.

Moeen Ali, meanwhile, bludgeoned a 28-ball 66 (4×5, 6×6), as the pair added 90 runs for the third wicket off just 43 balls.

After Ali’s dismissal, Kohli joined hands with Marcus Stoinis (17* off 8) for a 64-run fourth wicket partnership as the visitors amassed 143 runs in the last 10 overs to flatten the home team.

Kohli got to his 50 off 40 deliveries but stepped on the accelerator to score his next 50 in just 17 deliveries before getting out to Harry Gurney off the final ball of the innings.

Among his boundaries, the most eye-catching was a square drive past point off Gurney in the 17th over.

For KKR, India’s star spinner Kuldeep Yadav had a forgettable day with figures of 1/59 from 4 overs.

RCB lost Parthiv Patel (11) early after the diminutive southpaw holed out to Nitish Rana at deep mid-wicket off Sunil Narine.

Kohli got off to a slow start, finding the fence only in the fourth over after a horrible misfield by Shubman Gill at the deep mid-wicket boundary off Narine.

The India skipper did not look his usual self as his next boundary came off an outside edge off Prasidh Krishna through third man.

RCB were 42/1 after six overs with Kohli taking on India teammate Kuldeep in the eighth over, hitting a lofted straight drive and a trademark cover drive for four.

With AB de Villiers indisposed, Akshdeep Nath (13) was sent to bat at No. 3 but the move did not bear fruit as the batsman skied a Andre Russell delivery for Robin Uthappa to charge in from short cover and snaffle it.

Ali then took it upon himself to up the ante by tonking Kuldeep for a six over long on in the 10th over as the RCB scoreboard read 70/2 at the halfway stage.

Ali went berserk from there on, smashing Kuldeep for 27 runs in the 16th over with a series that read 4-6-4-6-1W-6 before holing out to Prasidh at long-on in the last ball of the over.

RCB scored 70 runs for the loss of just one wicket between overs 14 and 17. After Ali was dismissed, Kohli and Stoinis continued the carnage with the last three overs leaking 45 runs.

Brief scores

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 213/4 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 100, Moeen Ali 66, Andre Russell 1/17) vs Kolkata Knight Riders



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